Peace Ministry Toolkit
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains one of the highest expressions of the human conscience of our time.
~ Pope John Paul II, Address to the Fiftieth General Assembly of the United Nations, 5 October 1995.
To learn more about the human rights we all possess, view the UN website and review The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
The primary work of the Pontifical Council is to engage in action-oriented studies based on both the papal and episcopal social teaching of the Church. Through them, the Pontifical Council also contributes to the development of this teaching in the following vast fields: Justice, Peace, Human Rights.
To learn more about the Council’s mission, visit the website:
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
UN Observance of International Days related to the Promotion of Justice and PeaceUnited Nations observances promote awareness of and action on political, social, cultural, humanitarian or human rights issues in order to build peace. Click on the links below to learn more about these annual observances.
Family Pledge of Nonviolence
To become peacemakers we must start with ourselves and in our families. To learn about this family pledge, view it at: Family Pledge of Nonviolence.
The social community, if it is to live in peace, is also called to draw inspiration from the values on which the family community is based. This is as true for local communities as it is for national communities; it is also true for the international community itself, for the human family which dwells in that common house which is the earth.
Indeed, in a healthy family life we experience some of the fundamental elements of peace: justice and love between brothers and sisters, the role of authority expressed by parents, loving concern for the members who are weaker because of youth, sickness or old age, mutual help in the necessities of life, readiness to accept others and, if necessary, to forgive them. For this reason, the family is the first and indispensable teacher of peace.
~ Pope Benedict XVI, “The Human Family, a Community of Peace,” January 1, 2008
The Catholic Campaign for Peace in the Holy Land is part of an unprecedented inter-religious initiative. This initiative engages Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders and communities in a coordinated effort to promote a just peace in the Middle East. The Catholic Campaign builds upon and complements the ongoing efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Tips for Peace Education
The world must be educated to love Peace, to build it up and defend it.
~ Pope Paul VI, 1968
Start a “Peace bookshelf” in your parish library or for your social ministry committee. Below are some suggestions. (Item numbers are from the USCCB Publishing Catalog. To order visit the USCCB Publishing web site or call 800-235-8722.)
Create awareness about poverty, human rights, religious freedom, and peace.
Celebrate the World Day of Peace
Provide opportunities to advocate for the poor and vulnerable abroad, for international justice and peace (CRS Action Center)
Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue
The God in whom we Christians believe is the Creator and Father of all, and from him all people are brothers and sisters and form one single family. For us the Cross of Christ is the sign of the God who put ‘suffering-with’ (compassion) and ‘loving-with’ in place of force. His name is ‘God of love and peace’ (2 Cor 13:11). It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that it truly serves as an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans.
~ Pope Benedict XVI – Assisi 2011
World Day of Peace, January 1
The World Days of Peace are particularly intense moments of prayer for peace and for the commitment to build a world of peace. Pope Paul VI instituted these Days to dedicate to the thoughts and resolutions of Peace a special observance on the first day of the civil year. The Papal Messages on these annual occasions represent a rich source for the renewal and development of the Church’s social doctrine and show the Church’s constant pastoral activity aimed at the promotion of peace.
~ Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
The texts of the annual Papal Peace Messages can be found on the Vatican website: